Q: How did the idea for MACHINES OF LOVE AND HATE come about?
PARDA: I began writing the script in late 1998 and into '99 during the escalating "end times" phenomena that was sweeping parts of the world. I found it humorous, and a bit horrific, that a small part of humanity was readying itself for the apocalypse while the rest of society went about its daily business. Another event that influenced the film was the 1997 "Heaven's Gate" mass suicide in California. The specifics behind it were so bizarre that most people just scoffed at it. I think I did too, at first. But then I tried to put myself in those people's shoes. To try and see it from their perspective. What if they all didn't die for nothing? What if UFO's or aliens, or some other unknown force REALLY did come and take their spirits away? Who had the last laugh then?
Q: You're Catholic right? How much influence did or didn't that have with the movie?
PARDA: One of the big themes of the film is Faith and how some people deal with the loss of it, and how they try to find redemption. I have my own opinions on religion and belief but I don't think they're presented in the film in a cut and dry manner. I've left it open to the viewer to decide for themselves if the message is positive or negative.
Q: Why did you decide to cast Eileen Daly as the mother? It's far different than any role I've previously seen her in.
PARDA: I just love Eileen's face. She can impart sex, death, vulnerability and a wide range of other emotions with just a glance. I've been an admirer since I first saw her on video box sleeves for Redemption. I think she's the closest thing the horror genre has to a modern Barbara Steele and I'd always wanted to work with her. I was very happy when she agreed to play the role of Cynthia Marks and I think the dichotomy of this elegant, striking woman existing in a barren, desolate place really helps give the film an off-kilter ambience.
Q: And Tina Krause as the innocent daughter also seems against type.
PARDA: Tina is, without a doubt, the most under-rated actress in the low-budget/no-budget scene. Too many people seem to be blinded by her surface beauty and can't seem to see the talent she obviously possesses within. If given the chance, I think she can go on to GREAT things. She is just a joy to work with.
Q: How long did it take to shoot and edit the movie?
PARDA: We started shooting MACHINES in Pennsylvania in Summer 2000 and had the world premiere of the finished product on Long Island April, 1st 2003. It was really a drag that the film took so long to finish but I refused to go into credit card debt to complete the project. That's one of the joys of truly independent filmmaking, there's no studio hovering over you with a due date hanging over your head. Then again, if there was, they would be footing all the financial burden and not me. I don't think that would be such a bad thing as some people make it out to be. It sure would beat working 9-5 doing something you have no passion for.
Q: Any odd anecdotes about the shoot?
PARDA: I guess the most interesting one would be that I was almost decapitated while we were shooting the finale. When Jean-Charles(David Runco) acsends the stairs and stands on the top floor landing a beam of light spills over him. I wanted that light to really stand out, so the crew rigged an oversize mirror to the ceiling to bounce a column of light off it onto the actor. Suffice to say a few hours later I heard a cracking noise from above while standing under it. I looked up to see shards of glass coming down straight at me. Thankfully I didn't freeze and was able to move away quickly as the glass hit the ground and shattered. Since this took place at the end of another impossibly long day and during a raging thunderstorm no one really seemed phased by it and we continued on with the shooting. Later that night I remembered the movie A BELL FROM HELL. I couldn't remember much about the movie but I ,and lot's of other euro-horror fans, do remember that the director died while falling from the bell tower set on the last day of filming. It soon dawned on me that I had missed my chance at infamy.
Q: Who is your market for this movie?
PARDA: I think MACHINES OF LOVE AND HATE is the type of movie that will appeal to all audiences. From the casual movie-goer to the adventurous cinemaphile. I think the viewer who is willing to transform themselves, to kill their preconceptions about what cinema is about, will get the most from my film. They will see that every character, every word, every action is a symbol. For symbols carry every man, woman, and child through the universe. An example of symbolism in MACHINES is the amulet that Jean-Charles (David Runco) gives to Erika(Tina Krause). Since this object is not an "object" at all, but instead a sentient being capable of transforming the destinies of all characters around it, I knew this symbol had to be especially powerful. So I molded the amulet in an exact replica of the head of my own penis when erect: thick, voluminous, yet tender and life-giving.
Q: What is your goal as an independent filmmaker?
PARDA: To keep making movies on subjects that interest me and ,hopefully, other like-minded individuals. To make a buck or two wouldn't hurt either but that's looking like an impossibility in today's corporate run distribution structure. I'd like to end by thanking the readers who've gotten this far for showing an interest in my film and by urging them to continue to support "true" independent/underground/zero-budget/grass-roots filmmaking.